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    The StratEDgy blog is intended to be a thoughtful hub for discussion about strategy and competition in higher education.

What Do Recruiters Want?
June 20, 2012 - 9:45pm

Does anyone think that, for the vast majority of students, going to college isn’t ultimately about acquiring knowledge and skills to be successful in a chosen career?

If we take the above as a working hypothesis, then shouldn’t we care what recruiters are looking for in graduates?  While I didn’t find much information on what recruiters want in hiring students that wasn’t either anecdotal or behind a password-protected site, I did find an interesting piece of information from the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC).  In their 2011 Corporate Recruiter’s Study (link is to 2012 survey, which didn’t include exact same questions as 2011 survey), which was completed by over 1,500 recruiters from across the world (only 57% from the US), communication skills were deemed to be – by far – the most important skill/ability recruiters were seeking in MBA hires. 




And, while different companies may look for different skills, most people hiring are in some sort of business, be it health care, defense, high tech, financial services, or retail.  So what business recruiters look for in graduates is important.  Also, 22% of college undergraduates study business (nearly 360,000 bachelor’s degrees were awarded in business/management in 2010) and it is the second-most-popular area of study at the graduate level, with 26% of all 2010 master’s degrees awarded in the US in business (nearly 178,000 business-related master’s degrees were awarded).  And, let’s face it, a large number of other degree-holders work in business. 

What  - specifically - are colleges and universities doing to ensure their graduates are meeting the needs of recruiters – and therefore their students?



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